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Inyo National Forest

Started by Big J, August 03, 2020, 10:49:44 AM

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troutboy_II

Wow!  Just Wow!  Not sure what else I can say. Wow!

TB

Friar Tuck

Brilliant! Or as they say in California, Double-Double, animal style!

 :bow  :bow  :bow

Phil

Not to offend any other members here, but this is the best TR ever imo.

Onslow

So many aspects of this trip are simply amazing. There have many great day trip, expedition reports on various message boards, but this 7 day backpacking trip in the High Sierra w/some serious goods that was self guided blows simply kills it.

I honestly would have been stood off by hiking Army Pass, or the hike to Blue Sky lake with a 40 pound pack.  Seems like you all were rewarded for your effort. It appears you all chose your destination well, planned well, and were plenty ambitious. This is a very inspiring TR.

Doug, did you Philmont experience contribute to any of the confidence, and intelligent planning for this trip, or did Jacob do most of the steering?

Big J

Quote from: Onslow on August 04, 2020, 10:22:29 AMSo many aspects of this trip are simply amazing. There have many great day trip, expedition reports on various message boards, but this 7 day backpacking trip in the High Sierra w/some serious goods that was self guided blows simply kills it.

I honestly would have been stood off by hiking Army Pass, or the hike to Blue Sky lake with a 40 pound pack.  Seems like you all were rewarded for your effort. It appears you all chose your destination well, planned well, and were plenty ambitious. This is a very inspiring TR.

Doug, did you Philmont experience contribute to any of the confidence, and intelligent planning for this trip, or did Jacob do most of the steering?

I came up with the route. Doug at first wanted to go more of a southern route that involved more stream fishing and more of your traditional sense of golden trout small stream fishing. I really had it hard for the high alpine lakes and getting to a couple lakes that had some big goldens. I really planned my trip around Sky Blue and Crabtree Lake 2. Those two are supposed to have the biggest goldens. I got Doug on board when he realized how set I was on it and he refined the route and timeline. Dougs expertise came in with packing the packs. I still brought stuff that Doug scoffed at. Like a tomahawk, a leatherback journal, and 2 bags of Cheetos. I had a 57lb pack at the trailhead but 12 lbs of that was food that I got down pretty quickly. Lost 1.5 Lbs a day in food.
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Dougfish

Ken, Philmont is a distant memory. The only thing it taught me is that I did not get altitude sickness over 12K feet. But that was 45 years ago.
We're both hard headed and determined, imho. We did good research on High Sierra Topix forum, looked at every map known to mankind, and went with our gut. We had to adjust on the fly to arriving late and then realizing how frigging difficult it was to breathe! It took a lot longer to go uphill out there. I have been training with a 35lb pack and doing a 2 mile up and 2 mile down route up Roanoke Mtn. No stops to rest or catch my breath. Going up New Army Pass, we stopped every 100-200 feet?!
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

ryguy

Whelp there goes any hope for work productivity.  Thanks for the awesome read!

brownhunter

 <-;:  <-;:  <-;:

Simply amazing!! Thanks for report, but this was so much more than a report. In awe of the pictures and the writing and the... Well, like it has been said, this was awesome!
"Why, he wondered, did rich people call it sushi while poor people called it bait?"   -- Same Kind of Different as Me

Fishbug

 :o

Doug - Worked w Laura yesterday and she told me you got back from California catching "little gold fish."

Knew where to look - did not disappoint.

Prettier than Brook Trout?!

Dougfish

Quote from: Fishbug on August 05, 2020, 10:00:16 AM:o

Prettier than Brook Trout?!


Both are beautiful. Brookies are subtly beautiful. Camouflaged.
Goldens are more out there. Flashy. Some good par marked fish are coming up.  d:b
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Phil

What amazes me from your pics of the goldens are how much different they look from the sickly yaller "goldens" that were stocked (dunno if they still do) in the Cherokee trophy waters. Fished there once several years ago and those things did indeed look like pond-type "goldfish." 

Big J

Day 6.  I will start out by saying I do not recommend the Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce.  It messed me up.  4 times to be exact and a long restless night.  Of course it might of been the prospect of knowing I was going to have to go back over New Army Pass.  The night before Doug and I schemed with the maps on a way to get back to the trailhead without going over New Army Pass.  You can go over Cottonwood Pass which is a lot lower elevation to the south, but the issue is there is no fishing opportunities. Doug and I agreed we should just face the music and go back over New Army and fish Cottonwood Lakes one more time before hiking out. 

On the way out we ditched our packs and broke out a fly rod and hit the stream in Penstock Meadow where the horses were.  All the riders had cleared out so we had the stream to ourselves.  In a hundred yards of the stream, with one rod between the two of us, in one hour, we caught easily 60-70 fish.  They were all between the 3" to 6" range, but it was still entertaining.  You'd cast a dry into the stream and immediately a posse of fish would fight over the fly.  It was stupid. 

We threw our packs back on and continued hiking.  We decided to stage at a meadow just before the serious ascent up New Army Pass.  Our game plan was to wake up early and get as far as possible up New Army Pass as we could before the sun got on that side of the ridge. 

The Meadow we stayed in was a secluded spot on a plateau that I'm sure does not get used much.  On the opposite side of the creek we heard some coyote talking to each other for a couple minutes.  Only a few hikers passed by on the trail that we saw. Several naps were taken as the section of stream we were on didn't have goldens as far as we could tell.  I fished a 100 yards of the stream without seeing any fish.













"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Dougfish

August 05, 2020, 13:15:41 PM #42 Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 18:13:25 PM by Dougfish

I should mention that during our first night at Sky Blue, a 4.3 earthquake hit suburban LA. I heard/felt a "boom" at 3 am, rolled over and kept getting it in the low 30's air. My wife informed me in our messaging that morning.The following day we were fishing and rocks started rolling off the mountain on the opposite shore. Meh. Cali falling down?

The trip down from Sky Blue was done at warp speed compared to going up. The meadow fishing was fun. Those small stream fish have a really short season to pack on the calories and they attacked with vigor. Little jewels. We reached the bottom meadow and turned uphill again. Frack.
It was a dusty haul for 2+? miles. We were scaning the left ridge for a camping spot as the stream got skinnier and skinnier. About a hundred yards before we crossed the stream for the last time, which was our drop dead camping locale, I spotted a meadow a few hundred feet above us to the right. A little piece of heaven. Wildflowers, hummingbird visits, shade to take a nap, a flat rock in the sun to take a wash and soak up the sun.

Good morning! Coffee and oatmeal by 5:30.













Tent is right rear.











"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Woolly Bugger

What map(s) did you find to be most useful / accurate in planning? How was navigation? GPS or old school?

You cannot see attachments on this board.
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Onslow

Love the campsite. Love all of this.

What kind of trees were camping under?

Aside from the overgrown groundhogs, did at any point you feel threatened by predatory wildlife such as mountain lions?  I have a boner for Beartooth Wilderness (Rosebud Creek watershed) north of Yellowstone, but I suspect there are black bears, grizzlies, wolves up there.  I camped at Crandall Creek near Clark Fork in 1993, the moon was full, there were animal shadows casting upon my tent.  Needless to say, I was a little creeped out. Thinking wolf.  Seems like the Sierras may be a better choice for high adventure. I've seen lots of kayaking vids of Cherry Creek, Kings, but the scenery pics you've posted are far more attractive than anything I've seen.





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